The ubiquitous free plastic bag will soon be more than London merchants can handle. That's because Council officials yesterday voted to ban London retailers from handing out the free sacks, sending the matter to the House of Commons for a final ruling. The London bill would require shoppers to use sturdy reusable plastic "bags for life" or cotton or string sacks.
Officials said they had to act to protect the environment from some 13 billion of the non-biodegradable sacks distributed each year in Britain. London would be following the example of 80 British municipalities—as well as Paris and Tasmania—that have either introduced similar laws or are considering it.